The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Remote work has its own challenges and this guide will provide you with tips on how to grow, manage and work with your remote team effectively.

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Remote work - how to work effective as a remote team

There are unique challenges that remote teams have to face when comparing to teams that are working from the same location - for examples, time-zone differences, lack of face-to-face interactions etc. So there are workflows and policies that you should implement in your remote team to help teammates stay cohesive and productive. 

In this guide, we will share tips on how managers can better manage remote teams, how employees can cope with remote work and workflows and tools that can help your remote teams stay productive. 

Remote work for managers 

1. Hiring for remote teams 

Other than simply evaluating candidates based on the skills that are required for the role you want to hire, there are many more areas to pay attention to when hiring remotely. 

Not everyone is right for remote work, someone who thrives at an office setting might not continue to be a super-star when he/she switches to a remote working environment. So before you start your remote hiring process, identifying the traces that make a person suitable for remote work is important. 

In our previous blog post, we shared the three traits that we believe are important when hiring a new remote teammate. They include 

  • Passion
  • Proactiveness
  • Self-discipline

For more tips on how to design your remote hiring process to evaluate these traits, check out: 

And some useful template to supercharge your remote hiring:

Try live template

2. Onboarding remote employees

There are unique challenges that remote teammates will likely encounter when comparing to teammates that work in the same office. These challenges include time-zone difference, lack of face-to-face interactions, etc. So to help overcome these challenges, the traditional processes that companies use to onboard new teammates have to change into a new form to adapt to the remote working environment. 

For more tips on how to onboard remote employees right: 

Useful template to help onboarding remote employees: 

3. Managing a remote team 

Managing remote teams is very different from managing on-site employees. Some common mistakes that we found a lot of managers make when managing remote employees include: 

  • Either not checking in enough or too much that leads to micromanaging 
  • Not enough cross-team communication so teammates are not working together productively as a cohesive team 
  • Not building an easy-to-search internal knowledge base so remote workers often have to wait for a long time to reach one another due to time-zone differences in order to find the answers they need
  • Relying on text communication too much - while instant chat is good for quick updates, often they are not the most effective way in solving complex issues. So there are times that a video call would be much better 
  • A lack of camaraderie - people work better when they enjoy who they are working with. Remote employees often lack the chance to mingle with each other so managers will have to create these opportunities for the team

For more tips on how to avoid these common mistakes and what you can do instead when managing your remote team, check out: 

4. Building a culture for remote teams 

Creating a culture for your remote team and hire only people who fit your team culture is important to help your remote team function smoothly. Having someone that does not have the right culture can spread negativity among the team and lower your team morale. And sometimes these issues can be hard for managers to notice in a remote setting as they can’t physically “see” the interaction among teammates as in working in the same office location. 

For more tips on building remote team culture, check out: 

Remote work policies and workflows  

1. Running meetings or brainstorming sessions remotely

When your teammates are not working from the same office location, some processes require changes to fit in the remote settings. And conducting meetings and brainstorming sessions with teammates remotely is surely one of the more challenging ones.

At Kipwise, we use tools like Miro and Zoom to conduct our remote meetings and we also have rules and workflows in place to help make our meetings more efficient and productive, they include: 

  1. Avoid unnecessary meetings 
  2. Invite the right people 
  3. Rotate meeting time if needed 
  4. Record the meeting 
  5. Start on time and set a time limit 
  6. Encourage teammates to turn on videos 
  7. Choose a meeting tool that has dial-in options 
  8. Mute yourself when needed 
  9. Share agenda ahead of meetings 
  10. Use tools like Kipwise to collaborate on meeting notes 
  11. Share meeting recap after the meeting 

For more details on how to implement these workflows to keep your remote meetings more efficient, check out: 

Useful templates for running your remote meetings:

2. Improving communication for remote teams 

Communication is often mentioned by remote teams as their #1 top challenge. Kipwise is a 100% remote team, and in our previous blog post, we shared tips on how we facilitate communication in our team, including: 

1. Tips on using instant messaging tools 

  • Default to public channels instead of direct messages for transparency
  • Nest messages around threads to keep conversations easy to follow
  • Use @channel wisely to reduce noise for teammates
  • Use status and profile to communicate availability

2. Don’t be reluctant to jump on calls

  • The 5-min rule

3. Regular face-to-face meetings to check on progress and ask for feedback

  • Daily standup meeting to align goals and address roadblocks
  • Biweekly all-team meeting for big picture updates
  • Biweekly product team sprint retrospective
  • Monthly 1-on-1 with managers

4. Tips on using project management tools

  • Trello + Slack power-ups
  • Planyway for Trello

5. Neatly organize internal knowledge using knowledge management tools

For more details on implementing the above tips on improving communication for remote teams, check out:

3. Encourage knowledge sharing for remote teams 

Encouraging more knowledge sharing for your remote teams is important because the cost of inefficient knowledge transfer is huge. By enabling a better knowledge flow, you can 

  • Speed up new employee onboarding 
  • Improve productivity 
  • Retain key knowledge even when employees leave your company. 

So to ensure your remote team can grow efficiently, encouraging knowledge sharing among teammates is important and here are some tips to prevent knowledge hoarding: 

  1. Make it a priority and incentivize knowledge sharing
  2. Create channels and encourage different forms of knowledge sharing
  3. Start building a culture of knowledge sharing from day 1
  4. Lead by example
  5. Invest in tools to simplify the knowledge sharing process

For more tips on how to implement the above tips for your remote team, check out:

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Remote work tools   

As teammates are commonly located in different time zones for remote teams, collaboration can become harder when compared to working in the same office. Luckily, there are lots of tools out there that can help remote teams collaborate more efficiently.

For more sharing on remote work tools, check out our related blog posts and guides: 

More resources on Remote work